02 January 2008

Saint Gregory of Nazianzus

Today the Church commemorates Saint Gregory of Nazianzus. Gregory was born around 330. He went to school in Athens, and later returned home to assist his father, a bishop, in his struggles against Arianism.

In 379, after the death of the Arian Emperor Valens, Gregory was asked to go to Constantinople to preach there. For thirty years, the city had been controlled by Arians or pagans, and the orthodox did not even have a church there. Gregory went. He converted his own house there into a church and held services in it. There he preached the Five Theological Orations for which he is best known, a series of five sermons on the Trinity and in defense of the deity of Christ. People flocked to hear him preach, and the city was largely won over to the catholic position by his powers of persuasion. The following year, he was consecrated bishop of Constantinople. While bishop there, he presided at the First Council of Constantinople.

Having accomplished what he believed to be his mission at Constantinople, and heartily sick of ecclesiastical politics, Gregory resigned and retired to his home town of Nazianzus, where he died in 389.

Prayer of the Day
Almighty God, you have revealed to your Church your eternal Being of glorious majesty and perfect love as one God in Trinity of Persons. Fill us with grace so that we, like your bishop Gregory of Nazianzus, may continue steadfast in the confession of our faith, and constant in our worship of you, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. To you be glory, O God, now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.


All original material (C) 2007-2010 by Father Robert Lyons.

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